Hi, I’m Adam and This is How I Work
Inspired by the Lifehacker How I Work series, I’ve decided to put together a post on what my daily work life routine. If you’re a blogger, I encourage you to do the same. I think it’d be interesting to get a glimpse into peoples’ work lives. If you do write a post, let me know by adding your post to the list here. Be sure to stick with the same format so that we show some consistency. Add some questions if you feel like I missed some.
Where are you located?
What is/are your current gig(s):
- Seniors Systems Automation Engineer for Genomic Health, Redwood City, CA
- Pluralsight author
- Freelance writer
- Automation Consultant
What’s one word to describe your work?
What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without?
Macbook Pro, PowerShell, Desired State Configuration, Team Foundation Server, Ansible, GitHub, Spotify, Slack, Microsoft Word, Camtasia
What does your workspace look like?
What’s a typical workweek look like?
A typical day means coming down to my basement office and firing up my Macbook Pro. Since I have ADD and am medicated (most of the time), my mornings are pretty unproductive until my meds kick in. That means Twitter, writing some fun blog posts (this one) or anything that doesn’t require any significant thinking.
Once the meds have kicked in, I get to work. I VPN into my work with my work laptop and then RDP to that from my Mac so I can work on my MacBook retina display and Thunderbolt display.
I’ll then probably check my team’s current sprint in TFS to see what outstanding work items I still have. I’ll then get to work on those. 95% of my day is writing PowerShell code, but we’re moving more towards DSC/Ansible as time goes on. I’ll usually toil around with various PowerShell things and eventually walk upstairs for some lunch.
Once I’ve grabbed a bite after 15 min or so, I’ll usually head back down to my office because I’m working on a problem that’s driving me nuts that I want to solve.
I’ll often stop working for my company around five unless I’m involved in an issue I can’t let go. I have to force myself to do this because I have other work that has to be done. I write 15-20 articles/month, so I try to do 1/article per day during the week. My weekday typically ends around 7 PM.
On the weekends, I’ll either work on writing articles, if I haven’t finished them up yet, or will work on whatever project is on my plate. Typically, it’s a Pluralsight course or sometimes I have work to do for a client that’s hired me on Upwork. I’ll probably do 10 hours of work on the weekends.
In between paid work, I’m then usually fiddling around with some side project as a new Github repo, working on a conference presentation or learning about some new technology or way to do things.
What do you like the best about your role?
The flexibility. I work from home and have an understanding boss in my full-time position. I work when I want and from where I want. There’s no mandated 40 hr/week that I have to do. Although I’m “allowed,” there’s no way I could mentally do that since my brain wants to work 24/7. I can fit in work whenever I need to regardless of the time or day.
What’s something about you that no one knows about?
I hate the Windows client OSes and PCs. Believe it or not, the only client-based Microsoft technology I use is PowerShell. I’m super-excited about PowerShell Core! I’m an Apple fanboy in the consumer space.
What do you listen to while you work?
Spotify usually cranks out classical, heavy metal, country or whatever else is on my playlist. I like all kinds of music, but honestly, it’s usually quiet as a church mouse in my office 75% of the time.
What do you wish you could change about your work?
I sometimes wish I didn’t feel the need to work so much. Work brings me pleasure, and I love solving problems. I get a real sense of accomplishment from solving a problem or helping others out. I also feel the need to consistently bring in more $$$ even though my family is better financially than we ever have been.
This desire to do more, more, more is always with me and sometimes is a detriment to family life although I’m thankful I have an understanding wife!
I also need to do more learning myself other than just what’s required for my job. I should probably look through some of the Pluralsight library since I’ve had a free subscription for over four years now but that reminder to do more paid work is always with me.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers?
Yes. My work life improved dramatically as soon as I got more involved in the Microsoft technical community. By getting myself out there in numerous ways, people begin to notice your work. I got my latest job with hardly an interview and only after a year-long, well-paying 40 hr/week contract job. I now get various work inquiries for full-time as well as consulting/writing work at least a few times/month. This was because I love what I do and this naturally has made me pretty good at it.
Don’t settle for what you want. Pursue whatever passion you have, even if it’s not IT. Do what you love to do and never look back. Get as involved with a community as much as you can regardless of how introverted you are. Take it from this introvert; it’s not in our nature to just put ourselves out there but, in the long run, the uncomfortable sacrifice will well be worth it!